Top US military officer travels to India, Pakistan

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Washington, Dec.3 : U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen is traveling with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to India and Pakistan as part of an American diplomatic effort to ease tensions in the Indian subcontinent in the wake of last week's Mumbai attacks.

"Admiral Mullen is in the area, as is Secretary Rice," Defense Secretary Gates told reporters at a news conference.

The News quoted a senior military official as saying separately that Admiral Mullen would visit both Pakistan and India.

No further details about Admiral Mullen's trip were provided, given the sensitivity of the situation.

U.S. military officials are worried that rising tensions with India could prompt Pakistan to redeploy troops to its eastern border from the northwestern tribal areas near the Afghanistan border where the Pakistani Army is currently operating against Islamist militant strongholds.

ANI

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